Our firm has a strong focus on serving the financial-planning needs of professional athletes. We also branch out into other areas such as the entertainment, music, and technology fields. There is a commonality between the mind-sets, energy, motivation, and financial issues of these types of top performers. It is very challenging and involves a lot of travel, but we love every minute of working with these types of clients.
Most of our business development comes through referrals from our current clients, especially in the athlete segment. Word of mouth is extremely important, and that can come through a teammate, a coach, an agent, or a third-party professional such as an attorney or accountant. An important part of our job is also having a continuous presence at various activities or events associated with our clients’ careers. For athletes, that could mean training camp, games, award ceremonies, or social events where teammates get together in a particular city. We want to keep our ears to the ground and stay current with issues in our clients’ lives, careers, and in their sport.
While it may sound trite, we consider our clients to be more than that. We develop close relationships that touch upon many areas of their lives and financial well-being. We want to see them succeed in everything they set out to do. This starts with what we call our “listen-first approach,” which allows our clients to identify and prioritize their goals and ultimately own their financial futures. It is a process-oriented approach—these are very busy people. We strive for maximum organization and efficiency when working with clients on financial planning and implementation.
We will get involved with a whole range of services that are usually not part of a financial advisor’s experience. These might include things such as coordinating with their legal team to review their contract terms or negotiations for a new contract. It might include a comprehensive review of their league’s employee benefits, which can be very complex and might require an outside consulting resource.
We may help them review their charitable efforts to see if that is being managed in an efficient manner. We often see athletes who are approached for outside business deals beyond endorsements and can help in the review process of those opportunities. Many athletes want to help one or more family members, perhaps with education expenses or a home purchase. We will help them coordinate their financial interaction with their families in a way that works within their financial plan. We do a lot of work helping clients plan for career transitions, whether it be starting a new career or founding a business venture. We are asked to consult on real estate purchases—I have even been asked to help evaluate the best way to purchase a new car and to recommend a wedding planner!
I think this commitment to personalized and customized service in working with professional athletes has been critical to the success of our firm and the ongoing growth of our client base.
- Be present at events that are important to your clients’ careers.
- Use a “listen-first” approach to identify and prioritize goals with clients.
- Be prepared to perform roles that go “above and beyond” what might typically be expected of a financial advisor.
- Be committed to personalized and customized service, which is critical for success when working with professional athletes.
Disclosure: Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from Masters Private Client Group. Investments in securities do not offer a fixed rate of return. Principal, yield, and/or share price will fluctuate with changes in market conditions and, when sold or redeemed, you may receive more or less than originally invested. No system or financial planning strategy can guarantee future results.
This article first published in Proactive Advisor Magazine on June 14, 2018, Volume 18, Issue 8.
Photography by Lynne Harty
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